Amid Row and a Ban, Congress Screens BBC Documentary on Modi in Kerala

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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM — The Congress unit in Kerala is screening the BBC documentary on PM Narendra Modi in Thiruvananthapuram today (Thursday) even though the central government has banned it in India saying it’s false and motivated “propaganda”, reports NDTV.

The screening comes at a time when the states and universities across the country are facing protest over the screening of ‘Modi: The India Question’. 

The public showing of the two-part series — which speaks about the 2002 Gujarat riots and PM Modi’s politics, among other things — is one of many such events organised by several Opposition parties and free-speech activists across the country.

The Congress is in the opposition in Kerala, too, but the ruling CPM has also taken a stand against banning the documentary.

In Kerala, the documentary is at the centre of row even within the Congress as veteran leader AK Antony’s son Anil K Antony recently quit the party alleging “intolerant calls to retract a tweet” in which he had defied the Congress stand and called the BBC documentary a “dangerous precedent”.

In response to Anil Antony’s argument that it undermines India’s sovereignty, senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, Lok Sabha member from Thiruvananthapuram, had said his argument is “immature”.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, speaking to reporters in Jammu, had questioned censorship. “Truth shines bright. It has a nasty habit of coming out. So no amount of banning, oppression and frightening people is going to stop the truth from coming out,” he said, reports NDTV.

Meanwhile, the State Department of the US described India banning the documentary as a matter of press freedom saying that it is high time to highlight the importance of democratic principles like freedom of expression and make it a point around the world as well as in India.

Ned Price, the US State Department spokesperson on Wednesday underlined that Washington supports free press around the world and that it is a matter of utmost importance to highlight democratic principles like freedom of expression.

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